Tonight was the final run of week 5** of Couch to 5k. Week 5 is what they call transitional and designed to get you running for longer spaces of time. They were not fuckin’ kiddin’ about that, FYI. I want to tell the story of my evening, but I think only images are going to do it justice. So, Buzzfeed style, this was my night.
**It hasn’t actually been five weeks since I started, but since there are 3 runs in a ‘week’ running every other day makes it a 6 not 7 day cycle. Suppose I could have taken 2 days between some runs, but figured I might as well just keep on lol.
So, some necessary background, in previous weeks you do the same routine all week. Week 5 demands longer periods of uninterrupted jogging/running and gives you a different run each time. The first run is blocks of five minutes. The second nearly doubles that to eight minutes at a time which is longer than any previous run. This was a mental challenge rather than a physical one, since the Week 4 run was more or less eight minutes with only a 90 second pause. Today was the final run/last of Week 5. Our story begins…
It’s Wednesday. I have just got home from work, and after a couple of false starts with forgetting headphones etc off I start for my warm up walk, pressing play on the podcast. I feel ready.
It’s wet, drizzling. but no matter. The familiar (bad) music starts and the NHS’s narrator “Laura” begins her customary pep talk.
“Laura” casually mentions that today, we are going to be running for twenty minutes uninterrupted. This is over double the length of time that I’ve ever run before.
First comes shock.
Then comes disbelief.
They can’t be serious. I am not ready for this. That’s a big old leap, right there.
Why would they even suggest it?
Next was panic.
Still, there’s nothing for it. This is what I have to do so I must resolve myself to it.
If this is twenty minutes solid, however, I do not need to suffer more bad music just so “Laura” can tell me my timings. Time for my bestest most uplifting playlist. I need my music to lie to me and tell me I’m awesome right now.
Off I trot.
It starts out okay.
Then I get to the big incline that usually falls in one of the walking sections… not this time. But hey, I’m tough, I can handle this right?
Fucking hell I can’t breathe.
Made it! Wow, I seem to have run quite some distance, how far into this am I? Ten minutes.
Only ten? You’re sure?
Okay. Just have to keep going.
Keep going. It’ll be over before I know it.
Gee, random other runner, I’d just love to talk right now. My red face and heavy breathing are sure signs that I’m in a chatty mood.
And thank you motorist, for going through that huge puddle at speed. Being wet is very helpful.
Hmm, this is about where my final run usually comes to an end… what’s the time, how long am I into it… SEVENTEEN MINUTES?!
And Chesney Hawke comes on to see me home. YES I AM THE ONE AND ONLY!
I’m done. I did it. In the space of a month I’ve gone from not having done any serious exercise in
*tries to count and fails* a long time to running for twenty minutes without stopping.
It works, the whole crazy system works! Who’d have thunk?
And how do I feel after this big achievement? What happens when I get home? Do I feel that runner’s high, euphoric and high on victory?